By Andrew Pastor, portfolio manager
“Of my fifty-seven years, I have applied at least thirty to forgetting most of what I have learned or read.”
– Emanuel Lasker, world chess champion
In high school I had a math teacher whom I will call “Mr. S.” He would start every class by displaying a chess puzzle on the whiteboard. Students would get extra credits if they could solve the problem. I was a chess novice at the time, but couldn’t resist a good challenge. I spent the next year studying the classical games so I could understand the foundational principles in chess. After learning the big ideas, my game improved rapidly and I qualified for Mr. S’s chess team. In my last year of high school, I quit varsity basketball to focus exclusively on chess (I wouldn’t recommend this if you want a prom date).
Eventually, my progress hit a wall. I started losing just as many games as I was winning. It took me a while to realize that my opponents grasped the same strategies that I did. I had no competitive edge. I discovered that the only way for me to improve was to “unlearn” some of the core principles. For example, I sometimes let my opponent control the centre so that I could counterattack from the flank. It was only after I “broke the rules” that I made a breakthrough in my game.
In this commentary, I’m going discuss my personal investment journey and share some of the investing lessons that I eventually had to forget. Continue reading Q4 2019 EdgePoint commentary